Asha (name changed), a 14-year-old student, befriended a stranger on one of the social networking sites a few months ago without realising that her innocent move could land her in trouble. When she decided to meet her cyber-chat friend in person, she was abducted, only to be released after her parents paid a ransom.

Her case is among the many that have been reported in the country, which is witnessing an increase in the number of criminals using the Internet.

To make non-techies aware of the threats and educate them about preventive measures, the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) and the Department of Information Technology have been organising ‘Information Security Education and Awareness' (ISEA) programmes in the city.

Awareness workshops

Under the programme, CDAC will hold a series of workshops for schools, government officers and individuals. Trainers from CDAC will enlighten them on phishing, identity theft, mobile security and a range of tools available for security.

“We have already held 12 workshops in the last one month and will hold more such workshops. CDAC is working closely with organisations such as the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and Tata Consultancies Services to generate content,” N. Sarat Chandra Babu, Executive Director of CDAC Knowledge Park, told presspersons here on Friday.

Change passwords

Briefing presspersons about some of the topics to be covered under the programme, Mr. Babu listed out a few thumb rules to be followed while working on the Internet. Change your passwords as frequently as you change socks and maintain strong passwords, never reveal any personal details on social networking sites and be careful about opening attachments, especially in spam mails, he advised.

Security tools

Mr. Babu also named a few tools that can be used in protecting systems.

“We provide tools to parents who want to regulate sites on their children's systems. We have products such as USB Pratirodh which regulates removable software, NAYAN (Network Abhigam Niyantran) and Malware Resist,” he said.

For more details, visit www.infosecawareness.in or call 080-25244059.

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